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Mother wants answers after son dies in Jefferson County Jail

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(KTVI) – A 38-year-old inmate at the Jefferson County Jail was found in his cell dead Friday.

Terry Edwards was found around 4:00am. There was another inmate in the cell, but authorities said they do not believe the death was foul play.

Edwards was arrested Sunday by St. Louis County Police in Fenton. He had a warrant out of Jefferson County for driving under suspension.

His mother spoke exclusively with FOX 2's Anthony Kiekow. She said she spoke with him before he was transferred to Jefferson County Wednesday.

"He said his head was hurting and his jaw was stiff," Susan Stetina said. "My son did not have any serious medical problems until he was arrested."

St. Louis County Police were not available for comment Friday.

Edwards leaves four kids.

"I want to know what happened to my son, and I won't rest until I know for a fact what happened," Stetina said.


  • April Brown

    That is so sad. But my boyfriend was arrested and had a bad experience as well. He was in Festus he was picked up right after work and they refused to feed him or give him anything to drink and told him to drink out of the toilet. By the time he got home the next day he was dehydrated and could barley move. He went without anything for a good twelve hours. These police seem to have no respect for the people in jail. I hope his mother gets some justice.

    • Warrior

      12 hours = I say boo hoo, cry me a river. I doubt he could “barely move” from going a measly 12 hours without food or water. I’ve done it via military training and did just fine. But you keep telling those stories.

      It has absolutely NOTHING to do with this man’s plight. He was arrested for a small crime and is now dead. His family has to live through the loss. His death might very well have been natural causes / illness and may not have been foreseeable. We’ll have to wait and see.

      • Robert B

        Unfortunately for Jefferson County residents and prisoners who pay taxes, the Jefferson County jail is grossly understaffed with incompetent correctional officers. It is their responsibility to enforce justice as well keep inmates safe. I know for a fact many incidences where CO’s will throw inmates in a berthing where extremely dangerous criminals are lurking, and wait for weak inmates so they can prey on them to steal their lunch tray and if they refuse they take a severe beating by several at a time. Guards know this and use it as a form of punishment, so they don’t have to take the rap assault. This dorm area is nicknamed the thunder dome.

        Their medical support consists of a medic who passes out pills, hardly competent to handle severe head trauma or major illness or injury unlike St. Louis County.

        Jefferson County jail personnel is so pathetic that on busy weekend nights there may be close to 70 inmates thrown in a room called a library that should only house 15 inmates max. they sit in wet conditions with sinks leaking 1 blanket no mattress for the better part of the weekend until these 8 dollar an hour pukes decide to do their job and process them. Aggressive offenders with violent behaviors waiting transfer to maximum security prisons also share the living space at times. All this takes place while a brand spanking new dorm with 60 bunks stands vacant with freshly painted walls because Jefferson county claims they can’t staff them. They would prefer to stuff inmates in like cattle almost always resulting in several fights a night and that’s a generous number.

        It is surprising to me that an incident like this doesn’t happen more often but 2 death in 2 years is still to many. St. Louis county has a officer in each pod and events like this don’t happen.

        What a joke!

  • Jacquelynne Whydoesitmatter

    A really bad headache and stiff face and neck could be a aneurysm. Perfectly healthy people can get a Brain aneurysm right out of the blue. If he didn’t get medical help quickly it can be fatal. So sorry for this family RIP Terry Edwards and lots for his family. April The body can go 3 days with no water and 30 something without food.

    • Sue

      The body can go longer than 3 days without water .. people have survived in the wilderness for up to a week without it .. but . still not a great scenario to be in ..

  • Ronn Dunn

    Since a jail house is a place that so many people spend their weekends and sometimes longer, we should fix these places up a bit with weight machines, free food and beverages and nice beds for when the little women wants to spend the night or two with a few of the inmates. Heck, with the way they are now who’d want to go?

  • Amanda

    I got a brother in law in there right now serving time In Jefferson county jail and was just there this morning visiting….it is a very nasty place and half the time the cafeteria isn’t even open and they have to eat bologna sandwiches every meal….they should have the inmates in there clean up that jail and it would be clean then. ……..

  • Dave Drake

    That could also happen from internal injuries caused by a police beat down
    upon arrest. That was his health issue.

  • Jen

    Could be Meningitis
    Early symptoms of meningitis or blood infection may be confused with the flu or a cold, but symptoms can rapidly become more severe and include:

    Stiff neck
    Sudden high fever
    Purplish rash on arms and legs
    Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and changes in mental state

  • Linda

    Yeah maybe they shouldn’t be in these places but most jails have deplorable conditions not fit for any humans . This is a disgrace we pay taxes and our jails are horrible. It is typical Jefferson county and I don’t live in that county, but the justice system there are all a bunch of yahoos. Horrible conditions at that jail and many others ! They should be charged with in humane conditions, take it to the Supreme Court and get justice for your son, fire all the county officials too!

  • Kassondra McGowan

    I have been there a lot, said to say but i have spent a lot of my time there .It is the worst jail ever, thay put 8 to 10 girl in a two man cell for.5 to 10 days no shower ,sleeping on the floor that is so nasty . If u have anything rong with u good luck because the co could care a less , The food is so bad a starving homeless pearson would not eat it. I get that its jail and its not aplace were you should be comfortable but there is health codes or something they should have to follow, How is it that the police and the jail in Jefferson county get away.with the shit they do? Whats said is who can u call when u cant call or trust the cops in J.C? Crooked as hell

    • Nancy

      If you have been there quite a few times maybe you should quit breaking the law and go back to school to learn how to spell.

  • Robert Donaldson


  • Cheryl

    First, my heart goes out to you and your family as you go thru his awful tragedy. I have a brother that is in a different jail and it is very sad when some of the policeman can get away with so much because they wear a badge. They took an oath to uphold the law and some of them take the law into their own hands. I always thought the law was “innocent until proven guilty” BUT that’s not my brothers case he is guilty and has to prove his innocence. And to Mr. Ronn Dunn, you are a total jerk! No one said that jail should be a Holiday Inn. The inmates should be treated as humans not animals. They are still some ones love one and I guarantee you if you were to treat a animal like some of the inmates get treated you would be hung from the highest tree. Actually you will get more time if you kill a animal than you will a human being. Justice….. what a joke!! I hope that you get the answers soon of your sons death so you can start to heal and move forward. You all will be in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless and comfort you.

    • Warrior

      Every think it could likely be natural causes? Did he complain of inhumane treatment or brutality? Not every death is a murder. Regardless, I hope they find the cause and give closure to this man’s family.

  • cindy

    Jefferson county jails should be ashamed! I feel like this story about the inmates-jail live in a 3rd world country.Next they’ll have a torture chamber… Shame on Jefferson County! Leader paper needs to make this front page!

  • Matthews John

    this may come as a suprise to some of the idiots making comments on this story.
    but just because you get arrested or are in jail that doesnt make you a criminal deserving of harsh conditions. infact you are not a criminal until you are convicted of a crime. innocent until proven guilty.

  • mandy s

    The examiner will probcome bck ruled for the police. This is cover up for the police department. They did this and I hope spmethings done. Its sad that this happens more and more in our country because nothing gets done about it. Its been happening at alot of jails in different states and always ruled not murder. People r more worried about being in jail then onstreets. Sorry about terry. Keep fighting to stop this. Kids need their parents

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